Chilling audio of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter coming down in California was captured by a doorbell cam.
Local resident Ronna Leavitt has provided the 43-second clip to investigators in which the Sikorsky S-76B chopper can be heard flying above her housing complex in Calabasas before it crashes with a thud into the surrounding hillside and the recording falls silent.
Leavitt told ABC7 that the helicopter had flown above her housing complex and performed a U-turn before it crashed into the hillside, killing Bryant and eight others, including his daughter Gianna.
Meanwhile, crash investigators have said that the chopper did not have a terrain awareness and warning system that could have provided critical information to the pilot about the mountainous area.
The Federal Aviation Administration recommends the equipment on new choppers, and The Wall Street Journal quoted industry estimates of retrofitting the system at between $25,000 and $40,000.
The helicopter was also not equipped with a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder, according to reports.
Federal investigators said the helicopter lost communications with air-traffic controllers when it climbed to 2,300 feet as the pilot attempted to avoid a cloud layer. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials said the helicopter then began a descending left turn and crashed into the hills of Calabasas at roughly 1,085 feet above sea level. The chopper was descending at more than 2,000 feet a minute in the moments before impact.
“Preliminary information is that the helicopter was in one piece when it impacted the terrain,” a spokesperson told the Journal. “This is a pretty steep descent at high speed.”
Bill English, an investigator-in-charge with the NTSB, said, “It’s important to realize that there’s not one hill. It’s a ravine with undulating terrain, so the small outcropping that had the main impact in it, the main impact was about 20 to 30 feet from the top of that small hill. But there are actually other higher hills surrounding it.”